Ars Technica quotes the researchers that “it is, therefore, possible that the ability to reason about hidden causal agents is far more widespread in the animal kingdom than has been thought previously.”
Another study offers some evidence of how New Caledonian crows’ morphology enables them to use tools. Using an ophthalmoscope video camera, researchers under Jolyon Troscianko of the University of Birmingham in central England, have discovered that the position of these crows’ eyes and their unusually straight bills plays a part in their tool-using ability.
As reported in the journal Nature Communications, the scientists discovered that, because these crows’ eyes are more forward-positioned instead of sideways-positioned, they have “substantially greater binocular overlap” than other species of crows who have similar cognitive abilities. Their “unusually straight bill” also “enables a stable grip on tools, and raises the tool tip into their visual field’s binocular sector.”
Might these crows have evolved specific morphological features to enable them to hunt for food, to better use their intelligence?